Dennis and I are enthusiastic about what's in store for us during the year 2018 but first, a quiet moment to reflect on the year 2017...
It was an eventful year, especially with a mid-year job change and the ever constant stream of gossip and politics on social media. At least food was our steady pillar, taking our minds off the crazy and instilling a peace of mind and belly. With the blog sneaking past 11 years (what? already?!?), we've visited countless new restaurants, forged foodie friendships through Instagram, and even traveled to Europe for the first time! There was much left unpublished so I'll share several new pics of recommendations as well as a few other favs.
Last month, Common Theory Public House celebrated their three year anniversary as well as rolled out a revamped menu. I've been dropping by for 2+ years ever since finding their Chicken Wings and burger, but my favorite promo is their progressive happy hour with 32 rotating taps. The happy hour discount for beer was $3 if you ordered between 3-4pm, $2 between 4-6pm and $1 til 7pm.
One of the recent changes I immediately noticed was this beautiful new artwork of a dragon. The artists were Alex Banach (@buddhaselfie) and Gloria Muriel (@gloriamuriel) so check their IG for more of their work!
There was also a huge poster for guests to sign as part of the anniversary weekend party Friday-Sunday. After being seated at one of the tables, we peered at the new food menu.
BIGA Cucinato A Legno has been on my "hot" list ever since a fabulous dinner with the cousins during last year's Comic-Con. I've visited several times since, including a recent Wednesday lunch sandwich popup with Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado (GOBYA is one of the best BBQs in San Diego)!
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch but does close on Mondays. There's a gelato and pastries display on the left and freshly baked bread to your right before the line to order. Along the way are huge wood fired hearth ovens which are the powerhouses for the bakery here. My friends had already ordered and sat down while I still had a hard decision in front of me. Which GOBYA collaboration item should I order? There was the LBJ with smoked tri tip, The Peanut with smoked hot links, or the Grand Ole Biga Turkey sandwich...
Meze Greek Fusion is celebrating FIVE years of business in the gaslamp quarter! We still remember when it used to be on the corner of 6th and J street and were completely blown away by the spacious new location one block away. The color scheme was gorgeous with a trendy yet comfortable ambiance and more than double the capacity. After admiring the new setup, we were quite eager to begin the media wine and food pairing experience for that night.
Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus (left) and Baba Ghanoush (right)
The signature item was the baba ghanoush and right away you notice there's something very special about it... the intense smokiness! The eggplants were grilled to give it that unique but addictive characteristic! The hummus was more gritty in texture but surprisingly not too spicy! Dennis was a big fan of these appetizers and went to town dipping pita bread into both. Everything was made in house except the pita bread.
Oh-So Yummy recently hit a very big milestone of 10 years. Happy blogiversary (blog anniversary) to us! We've been fortunate to delight in delicious food and drink for the last decade!
For example, this picture is from a recent food and beer pairing by Brewer / Chef Rey Knight from Finest Made Ales. Watermelon and tomato salad, homemade bratwurst, and braised pork belly goodness plus their brown ale was excellent! I love how we've been able to capture all these foodie memories through our blog and social media.
Now for some history! The site started as a community of friends and family sharing food experiences. Our first post Tent City was written by creators Dennis and Nguyen. I posted about Extraordinary Desserts a couple day after! Also neat is how we met Cathy from mmm-yoso at a blogger meetup way back in 2006! We even had the famous Candice Woo from Eater writing with us in the early days. Ahh the memories!
Lisa and Dennis have birthdays in the same month and we typically pick a date in the middle to celebrate. This year I suggested Pomegranate for some Georgian/Russian food. First off, it's important to note there are TWO restaurants referenced as "Pomegranate," this one (Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate) in Golden Hill and the original Pomegranate in North Park. I found this out the hard way when a girlfriend suggested meeting at Pomegranate and they were actually at the Kafe Sobaka location instead! For this visit, I made sure to tell the family which street the restaurant was on!
Pomegranate started on El Cajon Blvd in the North Park area but the owners sold that location and they opened Kafe Sobaka in Golden Hill. Interesting enough, both restaurants still serve the same delicious dishes but the GH location is open for both lunch and dinner. Be aware that the phone numbers listed on google/yelp are only ONE number different! Make sure you know which place you are trying to go to!
After successfully making it to the right restaurant, the family was seated in the back room. We were handed menus, and as I expected, there was some conversations regarding the humorous descriptions of the foods... you'll read them soon...
Our happy birthday folks decided to start out with some mules to drink. There were three different variations you could order: herbal, spicy or sweet. Herbal was essentially mint flavor, the spicy one provided a stronger ginger bite and the sweet was a bit on the syrupy side.
One of the most talked about BBQ places within the San Diego food community is the newly opened Grand Ole BBQ. They have Texas style barbecue so this place warranted a visit from us... or two or three! Grand Ole BBQ is located at 3302 32nd street, between the north and south park areas of town and we didn't have any trouble finding street parking.
You can spot the huge outdoor smoker immediately. That's where the magic happens. I probably say that about all barbecue places though!
On Sundays there is a special Argentine menu with different items than the rest of the week. The BBQ masters use this open flame pit in the back to make food instead of the super sized smoker in the front.
It's true. We've done A LOT of eating and drinking this year at Oh-So Yummy. That's just how us food bloggers roll. Before we post our first official review this year, we wanted to share some highlights from the archives!
So what was popular in 2015?
The post on Korean BBQ AYCE at Manna Korean BBQ got the most consistent traffic.
The biggest spike in traffic hit our Bracero Cocina de Raiz post. It's well deserved because it's also Dennis's favorite restaurant from last year.
We're loving the holiday season in San Diego. Earlier this month we took a stroll through Hillcrest with a buddy for the Taste N Tinis event... yummy nibbles and a glass cocktail refilled at every stop. Great way to get into the spirit of the holidays and have a good time in the neighborhood. You can also check out last year's Taste N Tinis 2014.
We'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
Mediterranean salad and chicken skewers at Luna Grill. We also received a coupon for a free chicken skewer on our next visit!
Izakaya Masa is Dennis's favorite ramen noodle place in San Diego. In the past they used to only serve ramen after 9pm! Thankfully, they began serving it during regular meal times for us impatient ones who want ramen right away! The restaurant was also expanded but there are still waiting lists during peak dining times. We decided to meet up with friends who had never been here before.
I got there a little late and noted that Dennis had already ordered and received the Agadashi Tofu. At that point, it was already drenched in the flavorful broth and wasn't that crispy anymore. A bit wetter than I prefer but Dennis loves his tofu that way! This presentation was probably the prettiest I've seen so far, especially the shredded seaweed!